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Tyche (Tüche)Gandhara - Schist - Height: 23 in. (58.5 cm) - 2nd century
The goddess is standing in a relaxed posture on a separately carved, circular lotus pedestal, with her left leg crossed gracefully in front of her right. Her right arm is fragmentary but would have been bent so that her right hand rested on her gently outthrust hip. With her left hand she balances a tall cornucopia against her side, the body made from five tiers of acanthus leaves that emerge from a horned animal head at the bottom and are crowned by abundant fruit and a lotus blossom at the top(1).
She wears a flowing, pleated garment, which is draped over her left shoulder and is held in place at her right shoulder by two ropelike cords secured with a floral brooch. Her hair is arranged in wavy strands that have been swept back into a loose bun that falls to the left side of her head. Holding her elaborate coiffure in place is a thick wreath ornamented with flowers.
The goddess of chance, luck and fortuity, Tyche is also the patron of cities and as such is consideret to be the guardian of Kapilavastu, where Sakyamuni lived as Prince Siddhartha. She is typically represented wearing a turreted headdress, fragmentary in the present example, which is encircled by a wreath, and holding a garland er left hand.
In reliefs she is sometimes included in scenes depicting the Great Departure because of her association with Kapilavastu, but free-standing sculptures such as this lovely figure are extremely rare.(2)
ex Carlton Rochell LTD “Icons of Devotion”
Exhibition september21-october 15, 2004 the Fuller Building
(detail of cat. no. 1, pp. 04-05)
European Private Collection
(1) For a closely related example of this type of cornucopia that has an animal head at the bottom and is also held by a goddess, now in the British Museum, see Zwalf(1996).
Vol. II, no.98, p. 62
(2) For a smaller, more fragmentary example but with similar iconography, also in the British Museum see ibid, no. 524, p. 287. This sculpture is carved almost in the round but could also have been part of a larger composition, whereas the present example appears toh ave been free-standing.
ALC (Free Circulation)